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My Son, the Hero (1962)
"Arrivano i titani" (original title)

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An evil king makes a bargain with a devil in order to get away with murdering his wife.



(adaptation), (adaptation)
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Credited cast:
Giuliano Gemma ...
Antonella Lualdi ...
Serge Nubret ...
Gérard Séty ...
Tanya Lopert ...
Ingrid Schoeller ...
Franco Lantieri ...
Monica Berger
Maria Luisa Rispoli ...
Marzia (as Luisa Rispoli)
Isarco Ravaioli ...
Sumo Sacerdote / High Priest
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aldo Pedinotti ...
A Titan
Fernando Sancho


Krios, the youngest of the Titans, may be the least strong of the seven brothers whose strength comes from their mother, earth-goddess Gaia, but is by far the smartest, and thus their natural leader. He arrives on Crete, the kingdom of the mighty king Minos, impresses him as gladiator, gains his trust, falls in love with a mortal girl and discovers both Minos's human sacrifice-cult and a foreign conspiracy to seize power with a hidden army. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A GIANT SPECTACLE...Shot in Spain for Peanuts!


Adventure | Fantasy


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Release Date:

18 September 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

My Son, the Hero  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

MY SON, THE HERO (Duccio Tessari, 1962) ***
3 May 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

To begin with, this was another early TV recollection though I recently saw snippets from it on the "Stracult" Italian TV program. The film cemented handsome and likable Giuliano Gemma's leading-man status, but also marked his first of a long-running and felicitous collaboration with the director that spanned 9 films (not counting the recently-viewed MESSALINA, IMPERIAL VENUS {1960} which Tessari only co-scripted and where the star had a small part). After looking high and low for a copy of the film (a recent Cable TV screening was obviously in Italian and widescreen but reportedly proved problematic), I landed a pan-and-scan edition of the English-dubbed version; still, being in a peplum frame-of-mind, I thought better of revisiting it in this manner rather than wait for a more congenial edition and which may never even happen!; incidentally, the English title is quite lame (the original translates to HERE COME THE TITANS). Anyway, while I had anticipated a low-brow and comedy-oriented offering, it emerged a superior and reasonably stylish genre effort.

The narrative involves the titular band, banished by the Gods who were jealous of their superhuman strength but now called upon to cut ruthless King (and self-proclaimed deity) Pedro Armedariz – making for a dry-run to his similar invulnerable character in the above-average and effects-filled fantasy-adventure CAPTAIN SINDBAD (1963) – down to size! He has killed wife Jacqueline Sassard in order to marry Antonella Lualdi (interestingly cast as a villainess but then served a dismally underwritten part!); the King is nonetheless bound by a prophecy which dictates that he is doomed to die when the child (also played, delightfully, as a grown-up by the waif-ish yet gorgeous Sassard) falls in love – so, when he tries to kill her, the Gods add another clause, as it were, that he will himself perish instantly if the girl does!; therefore, he tries to work his way around this by locking her up…only, when she reaches the age of 18, Sassard is to be presented as a Vestal Virgin to the Gods. It is in the temple that she happens to come face to face with Gemma – sent to pave the way for the Titans' 'atonement' in view of his cleverness and agility – since, at the time of the ceremony, he is a prisoner in the dungeons below (having deliberately insulted the King so as to be taken before him and lead his soldiers on an acrobatic roof-chase!) and decides to take a look!

To cut a long story short, he becomes a sort of gladiator (though the bouts take place indoors and only consist of wrestling matches) where he triumphs over his opponent by rubbing himself in oil and slipping his grip at every turn(!) and eventually wins favor with Armendariz (which naturally allows him to get close to his love); still, the latter turn-of-events obviously does not please the King and Gemma finds himself at the receiving end of his ire. Rallying support from some of his old prison/arena colleagues and later joined by the liberated and spoiling-for-a-fight Titans themselves, we get to the climax which sees Armendariz being literally whisked all the way down to Hades when the earth opens up beneath his feet…and Sassard is now left to govern the people of Crete with Gemma at her side. The highly-entertaining film (running for a hefty but fast-paced 111 minutes) looks very nice despite the misframing and is further blessed with a bouncy score by the ubiquitous Carlo Rustichelli (he has scored the lion's share of the peplums I watched throughout the month!).

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